SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Autobahn Therapeutics is launching to create the next generation of regenerative medicines to restore hope for people affected by CNS disorders. The company has completed a $76 million Series B fundraising co-led by ARCH Venture Partners and Cowen Healthcare Investments, with participation from BVF Partners L.P., Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer Ventures, Invus, Section 32, Samsara BioCapital and Alexandria Venture Investments. Proceeds will be used to advance Autobahn’s lead program candidate, ABX-002, a thyroid hormone receptor beta agonist therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a rare genetic disorder, and a portfolio of transformational CNS programs leveraging the company’s brain-targeting chemistry platform.
“Autobahn is harnessing the regenerative power of the human body to treat both rare and prevalent CNS disorders. We are coupling our deep knowledge of thyroid hormone biology and remyelination with our brain-targeting chemistry platform to restore the brain to a healthier state,” said Kevin Finney, chairman and chief executive officer of Autobahn. “We stand well-positioned to advance our pipeline with funding from the highest quality investors and pharmaceutical leaders who share our mission of improving life health for people affected by these conditions.”
Innovating Treatments for CNS Disorders
Autobahn’s scientific approach is based on the well-established role that thyroid hormone plays in the production of myelin, the protective sheath that forms around nerves. The degeneration of myelin is associated with many CNS disorders, including MS. Autobahn is developing small molecule, thyroid hormone receptor beta agonists designed to stimulate remyelination and address the progressive nature of MS and other diseases that result from demyelination. The company’s strategy leverages validated human biology to de-risk and accelerate its development programs, a brain-targeting chemistry platform to maximize exposure selectively in the brain, and biomarker-driven development to establish on-target activity and proof-of-mechanism early in development.
“We believe Autobahn has the insights and expertise to turn this world-class research into important medicines for patients. The work pioneered by Dr. Tom Scanlan of Oregon Health & Science University served as a strong base on which to add a highly talented team of researchers and clinical innovators to create Autobahn,” said Kristina Burow, managing director with ARCH Venture Partners. “We are proud to be working alongside the company to harness the transformative potential of Autobahn’s remyelinating therapies.”
Leadership Team with Proven Track Record
Autobahn has built a team of experts in thyromimetics, drug discovery and development, clinical operations, and corporate and business development:
- Kevin Finney, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer;
- Keith Lenden, co-founder, president and chief operating officer;
- Brian Stearns, Ph.D., chief scientific officer;
- Chan Beals, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of translational medicine;
- Christine Maurer, senior vice president of development operations and program management;
- John Borkholder, J.D., general counsel and senior vice president of administration; and
- Thomas Scanlan, Ph.D., co-founder and senior advisor to Autobahn, and professor of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry, Oregon Health & Science University.
“Autobahn is developing a differentiated portfolio of CNS therapies, backed by validated science and led by proven scientific and business leaders,” said Tim Anderson, managing director of Cowen Healthcare Investments. “Investing in innovative life sciences companies is at the heart of Cowen Healthcare Investments, and we are excited to join the Autobahn team to help develop products that can fundamentally change the way people with CNS disorders are treated.”
Expert Board of Directors
Autobahn has established a board of directors with significant experience in company formation and scientific innovation. Directors include:
- Kevin Finney, chairman and CEO of Autobahn;
- Kristina Burow, managing director with ARCH Venture Partners;
- Tim Anderson, managing director with Cowen Healthcare Investments; and
- Ben Cravatt, Ph.D., Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology and professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.
“Autobahn benefits from the winning combination of validated human biology supporting its therapeutic hypothesis, clever chemistry enabling tissue-selective CNS delivery of compounds and an exceptional team to drive it forward,” added Dr. Cravatt. “I am highly confident in our potential to create the next generation of regenerative medicines for the brain.”
About Autobahn Therapeutics
Autobahn Therapeutics is focused on improving life health for people affected by CNS disorders. Autobahn is leveraging a deep understanding of validated human biology coupled with its brain-targeting chemistry platform to develop thyroid hormone receptor beta agonist therapies that harness the regenerative power of the human body. The company’s pipeline is led by ABX-002 for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), a rare genetic disorder. Autobahn Therapeutics is based in San Diego. For more information, visit www.autobahntx.com.